Business leaders are constantly seeking out tools that can foster efficiency, creativity, and engagement among their teams. Recognizing this need, Microsoft has been at the forefront of integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) into the workplace, and the recent enhancements to Microsoft Viva, particularly the introduction of Copilot, represent its most advanced Employee Experience (EX) optimization platform ever.
Copilot is a suite of AI-based automated tools derived from Microsoft’s investment in Machine Learning (ML) leader OpenAI. Building on the excitement following the launch of Microsoft 365 Copilot, Microsoft made headlines again with the announcement of Copilot in Viva. Together with the new addition of Viva Glint (a people success platform that captures and analyzes valuable employee feedback), these innovations are poised to revolutionize how organizations can drive a more engaged, productive, and satisfied workforce.
For years, productivity was the primary metric by which most organization’s judged their employees. Yet, while productivity can lead to impressive short-term results, relying on it alone can stifle creativity, limit teamwork, and increase the risk of employee burnout. It is increasingly evident that businesses must strike a balance between fostering productivity and nurturing employee engagement for long-term success.
Microsoft’s recent research, which analyzed engagement scores from three million employees at more than 220 companies, underscores this point. It revealed that the most successful organizations are those that prioritize both productivity and employee engagement. Interestingly, businesses with engaged employees performed twice as well financially compared to those with a disengaged workforce. This new performance equation — where engagement and productivity work hand in hand — is key to driving better business outcomes.
With the introduction of Copilot, Microsoft Viva is harnessing the power of next-generation AI to boost this new performance paradigm even further. Built on the robust Microsoft 365 Copilot System, Copilot in Viva brings together the capabilities of OpenAI’s uncannily intelligent Large Language Models (LLMs), the vast data resources in the Microsoft Graph, and a growing suite of Viva applications. The result is a transformative tool that provides leaders with a brand new way to understand and connect with their workforce.
Viva Goals: Driving Clarity and Alignment
In the current era of distributed workforces, organizations and their employees are reaping the benefits of flexible work arrangements. Still, this new paradigm brings with it a unique set of challenges, particularly when it comes to maintaining focus on company and team priorities.
Microsoft’s recent 2023 State of Goal Setting Report, conducted by Forrester Consulting, sheds light on these challenges. A striking 50% of surveyed practitioners stated that having more clarity around their goals instills a greater sense of purpose and motivates them to work harder. However, providing this clarity remains a significant hurdle; only 39% of respondents said that they understand organization-level goals.
Copilot in Microsoft Viva Goals was built to directly address that problem. It simplifies goal setting and management across an organization. Copilot guides leaders through the process of creating Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), a widely-used method for setting ambitious, measurable, and achievable goals. It goes a step further by suggesting draft OKR recommendations based on existing Word documents, such as an annual business plan or a product strategy paper. This feature turns often cumbersome administrative tasks into streamlined, intuitive processes.
Once the OKRs are set, Copilot continues to serve as an ally for employees. It saves precious time by summarizing the status of OKRs, identifying potential blockers, and suggesting actionable next steps. This ensures that everyone on the team is aware of the current progress and what needs to be done to move forward.
Viva Engage: Uplifting Communication
In addition to efficient task management, distributed workforces need secure channels to communicate on that fit into their workflow, support both synchronous and asynchronous collaboration, and provide seamless opportunities to interface with their managers and organizational leaders. Indeed, Microsoft’s research on hybrid work indicates that high-performing organizations are marked by strong leadership communication and engagement with employees. They found that a staggering 96% of leaders say effective communication is the most crucial skill they’ll need in the year ahead.
By leveraging Copilot’s advanced automation and Viva Engage, Microsoft’s app for discovering existing and new employee experiences, leaders can craft compelling and inspiring posts from simple prompts or trending topics within workplace communities and storyline conversations. Copilot provides suggestions to personalize messages with options to adjust tone and length and to suggest relevant images, fostering authenticity and engagement. It doesn’t stop at post creation; leaders can utilize Copilot to analyze engagement metrics, assess sentiment, and recommend responses.
Viva Learning and Viva Topics: Equipping Employees for Success
In addition to facilitating excellent communication, it is vital that the workforce is equipped with the necessary skills and learning opportunities to stay engaged and productive. Here again, Copilot plays a pivotal role. Copilot in Microsoft Viva Learning offers curated learning collections and concise knowledge summaries tailored to specific roles or development needs. It makes skilling and training the workforce easier and more efficient for leaders.
Copilot also enhances knowledge accessibility and sharing within organizations through Microsoft Viva Topics. Employees can use a conversational interface to learn more about important topics and discover related projects. Copilot in Answers for Viva (a space for employees to ask questions and discover crowdsourced solutions) further assists users by helping them construct questions with appropriate specificity and completeness and extract pertinent topics to categorize the question. It also aids experts in constructing complete answers by citing and including relevant references, resources, and experts.
Viva Glint: Using Data to Measure and Continuously Improve
In a marketplace where data underpins the most successful organizations, Microsoft Viva Glint delivers a cutting-edge approach to continuous data-driven analytics and insights to support improvements in organizational productivity and workforce engagement. However, despite the advanced data capabilities of many modern organizations, Microsoft’s survey of 20,000 people found that 75% of employees (and 80% of managers) believe their company does not solicit feedback often enough, highlighting a gap that Viva Glint is poised to fill.
Glint formally joined the Viva Suite in July 2023. As a popular employee engagement platform acquired by LinkedIn in 2018, Glint provides tools that enable businesses to get real-time feedback from their employees on various aspects such as management, workplace culture, and compensation. It also offers suggestions to help managers improve based on this feedback. The aim is to reduce the cost and efforts needed to recruit and train new employees, and instead, focus on improving the experiences and engagement of existing employees.
With Copilot’s integration into Viva Glint, leaders will be able to summarize and analyze thousands of employee comments, providing them with a fresh way to explore feedback by asking questions through natural language.
Additionally, Viva Glint will help leaders accelerate and deepen organizational understanding by bringing together aggregated employee engagement statistics coupled with behavioral and collaboration data from Viva Insights (which provided personalized, privacy-protected insights to improve employee productivity, work-life balance, and wellbeing) and the Microsoft Graph. This comprehensive approach will ensure that leaders have a 360-degree view of their organization, aiding them in making informed decisions that will drive business success.
Embrace the Future of Work
As we navigate the complexities of the modern workplace, solutions that prioritize both productivity and employee engagement are becoming essential. The integration of Copilot into Microsoft Viva heralds a new era in organizational management, providing tools that align with the demands of today’s business world.
Razor Technology helps growing organizations optimize the employee experience with industry-leading, AI-enhanced platforms like Microsoft Viva with Copilot. Contact us today to discuss how we can help improve your employee engagement.